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Asbestos lawsuits down in Madison County, Ill.

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Madison County Courthouse in Edwardsville, Ill. (KWMU file photo)

By AP/KWMU

Edwardsville, Ill. – Asbestos lawsuits filed in Madison County seem to be decreasing in number.

So far this year, 122 asbestos suits have been filed in the county. Last year there were about 480 lawsuits filed; the three years before that each saw more than 800.

Sherman Joyce, with the American Tort Reform Association, says Circuit Judge Dan Stack is the reason for the decrease. Joyce says Stack has been making sure that asbestos lawsuits filed in Madison County have a connection to the county.

But plaintiff attorney Barry Julian isn't so sure. Julian's Alton law firm specializes in asbestos suits. He says an order issued two years ago by Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron may be the reason for the decline.

That order allows a person with asbestos exposure to file a lawsuit, but a trial date isn't set unless the person has significant impairment.

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